Hydroxyl PAMAM dendrimer-based gene vectors for transgene delivery to human retinal pigment epithelial cells

Panagiotis Mastorakos, Siva P. Kambhampati, Manoj K. Mishra, Tony Wu, Eric Song, Justin Hanes, Rangaramanujam M. Kannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Ocular gene therapy holds promise for the treatment of numerous blinding disorders. Despite the significant progress in the field of viral and non-viral gene delivery to the eye, significant obstacles remain in the way of achieving high-level transgene expression without adverse effects. The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is involved in the pathogenesis of retinal diseases and is a key target for a number of gene-based therapeutics. In this study, we addressed the inherent drawbacks of non-viral gene vectors and combined different approaches to design an efficient and safe dendrimer-based gene-delivery platform for delivery to human RPE cells. We used hydroxyl-terminated polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers functionalized with various amounts of amine groups to achieve effective plasmid compaction. We further used triamcinolone acetonide (TA) as a nuclear localization enhancer for the dendrimer-gene complex and achieved significant improvement in cell uptake and transfection of hard-to-transfect human RPE cells. To improve colloidal stability, we further shielded the gene vector surface through incorporation of PEGylated dendrimer along with dendrimer-TA for DNA complexation. The resultant complexes showed improved stability while minimally affecting transgene delivery, thus improving the translational relevance of this platform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3845-3856
Number of pages12
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 7 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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